5@5 - A bloody good Bloody Mary
October 26th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Legend has it that if you stand in front of a mirror in the dark and say "Bloody Mary" three times, you can summon the evil spirit of Mary Worth.

While all that sounds fine and festive, we're more keen on the Bloody Marys at the brunch table than those that vengefully appear in mirrors. But that's just us.

And Paul Corsentino, executive chef of The National and mastermind behind their Bloody Mary cart, just happens to mix up a gruesomely good variation.

Five Ways to Make a Bloody Good Bloody Mary: Paul Corsentino

1. "The Bloody Mary is the quintessential 'hair of the dog' enjoyed by hungover brunch-goers the world over. For that reason, there is absolutely no excuse for skimping on the vodka. Use premium vodka - Grey Goose, Belvedere, or an artisanal brand of your choice. It makes a difference in the overall quality of the drink and lessens the probability of your guests acquiring an additional hangover thanks to your concoction."

2. "Premixed Bloody Mary mix doesn’t make the preparation process that much easier anyway, so why skip the step of including fresh juice? I love Clamato juice for its unique undercurrent of flavor. If you don’t want to squeeze your own tomato juice, try something like that and add your own additional ingredients like spices, herbs and citrus juices.

But, in this day and age, everyone should have a juicer - it’s an integral kitchen tool and one that, once you get it, you won’t be able to understand how you got along without it for so long. Squeeze your own tomato juice when tomatoes are in season - you won’t regret it."

3. "Fresh lime juice is key. Add anything else you want to the mix to pepper, sweeten, spice or freshen your tomato juice mixture but always - ALWAYS - use the juice of a fresh lime and, if you like it, fresh grapefruits or lemons.

Fresh juice is better for you: There’s no extra sugar or preservatives added and the flavor is brighter when it comes straight from the fruit."

4. "Don’t limit yourself when it comes to garnishes. I love to pickle vegetables when they are in season so that I can add them to my Bloody Mary concoctions when they are out of season. This fall, treat your guests to Bloody Marys with pickled green tomatoes, sweet peppers, carrots and chiles, in addition to the seasonless choices of cucumbers (traditional pickles) and onions.

I also love to add proteins such as beef jerky and shrimp to a Bloody Mary – the latter tastes like an edible shrimp cocktail."

5. "As far as I’m concerned if it’s not hot, it ain’t a Bloody Mary.

In addition to the traditional horseradish, I have been known to use hot chili peppers as garnish, mostly pickled to alleviate some of the burning mouth syndrome. You can also spice things up with fresh and powdered chipotle, tograshi or cayenne pepper. Give your guests options so that they can choose to raise or lower the heat factor as their tongue sees fit."

Here’s a recipe for my ultimate Bloody Mary:
2 ounces vodka
5 ounces Clamato juice
1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/4 teaspoon togarashi
1/4 tablespoon horseradish
Salt and Pepper to taste
Juice of 2 lime wedges

Garnish with two cucumber pickles and a beef jerky stick.

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Cocktail Recipes • Sip • Spirits • Think

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soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Ecig Sale

    Hello, its pleasant post concerning media print, we all know media is a fantastic source of facts.| Ecig Sale http://ecigarette2013.weebly.com

    August 9, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
  2. #OccupyTime

    Destroying the Universe, one Galaxy at a time.

    October 28, 2011 at 7:31 am |
    • Papa Djabs

      In Scotland we have a drink called a Bloody Scotsman recipe is here http://chilli-recipes.blogspot.com/2011/09/bloody-mary-recipe.html

      October 28, 2011 at 10:50 am |
  3. Marie

    I had a really good bloody mary at a steak house once. They garnished it with a stalk of celery, lime, an olive, and a cube of jack cheese.

    October 27, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
    • Married with children

      At what point does a co cktail become a meal? That does sound good, though.

      October 28, 2011 at 6:56 am |
    • Charo@Married ...

      When it's a well-dressed co cktail ...

      October 28, 2011 at 7:03 am |
  4. Annie

    Add a shot of beef broth to your favorite Bloody Mary and it's called a Bloody Bull.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • FirstAve

      Getting bombed the night before and then drinking a Bloody sets me up for the rest of the day of getting bombed, substitues also include shots to ease the hangover pain.

      October 27, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  5. les

    V8, vodka, horse radish, worchestire sauce, tabasco and fresh lemon - celery to garnish. that's my bloody

    October 27, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Annie

      I do it the same way except I use limes. Very tasty!

      October 27, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  6. Suze

    Never liked mixes myself BUT Zing Zang. Amazing. Best ever. By all means, use good vodka and if you want to make it even more amazing and easily the best ever, add a shot of Guiness. I don't/can't drink Guiness but it's magic. Garnish as you wish but if you like Bloody Mary's...you owe it to yourself to try this.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • MColes

      Zing-Zang is the BEST premade mix..has tons of spices in which i think is why it is so good! My fav!

      November 21, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  7. Garrett

    All great recipes. Gotta love it when someone boasts that they have the best bloody mary ever. Personally, all of the above are great ideas. Being from the mid-atlantic myself, I have to admit, a bloody mary without Old Bay is simply lacking. Though I've been known to use McCormick's Cajun seasoning from their gourmet collection. A few dashes of tobasco is key, too. And if Belevedere would break the pocketbook, Absolut Peppar is a great substitute. I always go with green olives as a garnish, but love the idea of A1 and a stick of beef jerkey though.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  8. SuperFoodie

    Clamato is loaded with MSG, never use it in anything. You should buy clam juice, usually next to the sardines, if you want a Bloody Caesar.

    I'd give my recipe for Bloodies of both varieties, however, they are the best you will ever get so the secret stays with me.

    October 27, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • workerdrone

      your recipe is way inferior to mine! but since mine is actually the greatest recipe ever, you'll never know it. i'll let you languish in inferior bloody may hell for eternity! nice try, but you're obviously just attempting to cover up your bloody mary envy.

      October 27, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • SuperFoodie

      LMAO whatever you have to tell yourself little peon.

      October 28, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  9. jp

    you MUST use Old Bay Seasoning. Celery salt , hot sauce, and worcestershire sauce along with the black pepper, lime juice, clamato, and fresh horseradish.....

    October 27, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  10. Drunk Bastard.

    BULLDOG WORCESTERSHIRE. Not that Lea and Perrins crap.
    No raisins= no sweetness.
    Much tastier.

    October 27, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
  11. Shannana

    Vodka, tomato juice and anything else you want to add is OK by me. Is it 5 o'clock yet?

    October 27, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
  12. Jerry Garcia

    If you are ever in Palasade, Co. be sure and stop by the Peach Street Distillery, the "VERY BEST BLOODY MARY" around and the scenery is wonderful...

    October 27, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • shreeves

      I agree, Jerry, I've been there many times!

      October 27, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  13. RAWoD

    We infuse a bottle of vodka with red Thai chilies. Split them open and dump into the bottle. Cap and leave it alone for 2 days. Filter the resulting mixture (I use a coffee filter). An ounce of this when added to regular vodka provides a base "hot note" that really wakes the drink up. We also include a tablespoon of A1 steak sauce. Yum!

    October 27, 2011 at 11:53 am |
  14. Russell

    If you are ever in Palasade, Co. be sure and stop by the Peach Street Distillery. The "VERY BEST BLOODY MARY" around and the scenery is wonderful...

    October 27, 2011 at 11:52 am |
  15. Brian

    Rim the glass with Old Bay Seasoning and garnish with your favorite things. The Greene Parrot in Key West used pickled green beens as a garnish. Amazing.

    October 27, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  16. TA

    A Bloody Caesar was invented in the 60's at Caesar's Palace when Tony Bennett (yes, the singer) requested something extra in his Bloody Mary, and they added clam juice. So this recipe IS for a Bloody Caesar. And, where's the celery salt and Worsteshire sauce? And stick with tobasco sauce or the other types of pepper spices will override the other flavors. Also, Sacramento Tomato Juice is the BEST tomato juice – and only one I use – It's smooth and thick and holds up to the ice very well. Now I'm thirsty......

    October 27, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • S_Dub

      Your story is incorrect. See origin of Caesar.


      October 27, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  17. helpermonkey

    By all means, use Clamato...but only if you desire the taste of old panties in your Bloody Mary. As mixes go, Tabasco is at the top of the heap. Pickled beans, asparagus, green olives...all great. The key is just the right bite of spice, CELERY SALT, and for god's sake...shake before serving!!

    October 27, 2011 at 10:51 am |
  18. Sean

    I like to use celery salt and worcester sauce. I also throw in pickle juice as well as olive juice. Along with black pepper, pepperchini's and a stalk of celery, olives and pickles. Couple dashes of super hot sauce and let marinate overnight in a glass jar. It's nice to have it prepared in the foggy morn.

    October 27, 2011 at 10:48 am |
  19. mke

    Best Bloodies are in Wisconsin! Garnished with a hodge podge containing anything from celery, pickles, lime, lemon, beef stick or bacon, cheese wedges, cocktail shrimp, etc... and don't forget the beer chaser!

    October 27, 2011 at 10:48 am |
  20. Not the Ultimate

    He makes a new version of, as jillmarie said, a Bloody Caesar, and labels it "the ultimate ..."? Talk about delusions of grandeur. I'll be the first one to try something new, but his my-way-or-the-highway at!tude is extremely distasteful.

    October 27, 2011 at 8:33 am |
  21. Graceful

    The best Bloody Mary I ever had was made with Tobasco brand Bloody Mary mix, good vodka and a spicy pickeled green bean. I wish I could find that mix again, it was amazing.

    October 27, 2011 at 8:00 am |
  22. jillmarie

    Great tips! In Canada, they use Clamato and call that version a Bloody Ceasar- yum! They sell them in bottles there- wish they had them here in the states.

    October 26, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
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